Brian holds a Masters in Education from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and is currently a Doctoral candidate in Indigenous Education.
He is currently Director of the Lac Du Flambeau Public School Cultural Connections Program and serves as the Lac du Flambeau Healthier Community Action Team (HCAT) Behavioral Health Project Director.
As WIEA President, Brian is a staunch advocate of Native education and cultural inclusion. He is presently working to build an American Indian Studies – Wisconsin Act 31 curriculum that will be used as the guiding principals throughout Wisconsin’s public school system.
Brian lives in Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin, with his wife and children.
WIEA Region: East
Tribal Affiliation: Enrolled Menominee, Stockbridge/Munsee descendant
Retired Tribal Education Director 1975 – 2016
Virginia Nuske is a Tribal Elder from the Menominee Indian Tribe, having served on WIEA for over 30 years. Virginia retired as Tribal Education Director for the Menominee Indian Tribe earlier this year, after serving in that capacity since 1975-2016.
She currently serves WIEA as the organization’s Treasurer. She previously served as both President and Secretary.
Virginia resigned her position on the College of Menominee Nation’s Board of Trustees as the Chair in 2019, to focus on her health and wellness. She served on the board for over 20 years, from 1997 through 2019.
She is a grandmother, great-grandmother and community role model.
Rachel Byington is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. She represents the South Region and has been involved with the Wisconsin Indian Education Association Board since 2007 . She is from Madison where she lives with her husband and kids. Rachel has dedicated her work to serve American Indian populations in urban and tribal communities. Rachel completed her PhD in the School of Human Ecology in the Department of Civil Society and Community Studies. Her dissertation is titled, “And We Were a Unit”: Urban American Indian Youth Perspectives on Act 31. She is currently employed with Earth Partnership as the Indigenous Arts and Sciences Community Liaison supporting partnerships and programs with Bad River, Red Cliff, Lac du Flambeau, and Ho-Chunk Nation, as well as Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College and College of Menominee Nations. In her free time, Rachel enjoys spending time with family, hiking, and gardening.
WIEA Region: Central
Tribal Affiliation: Stockbridge-Munsee Community
Organization/Business: Stockbridge-Munsee Community
Title: Vice President, Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians
Dr. Bowman’s strong conviction for equality in Indigenous education is what drives her compassion to work collaboratively at removing barriers and improving the education experience for Indigenous people at all levels of academia. In addition to her commitment to WIEA, Dr. Bowman also serves as President of the National Indian Education Association.
She believes that education for American Indians is an essential factor in preserving tribal nations through adversary in this century and the centuries to come.
Susan is a member of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians and proudly serves not only her community but Native Wisconsin as a WIEA board member.
Susan believes WIEA is exemplary in their commitment to ACT 31 and to providing historically accurate, culturally embedded, place-based, contemporary and developmentally appropriate curriculum about the history and contributions of Wisconsin’s Indigenous peoples throughout the state. She says WIEA continues to highlight the message that American Indian nicknames and mascots are not neutral symbols, and that their continued use by schools, sports teams and other organizations have negative consequences for ALL students, not just Native American students.
Susan is the Tribal Outreach Coordinator at Nicolet College and says working there is unique in the sense that three of the 11 sovereign nations of Wisconsin are located within the district.
“I quickly realized that Nicolet’s student population was highly representative of American Indian students coming from each of these communities. I felt it was important and appropriate for Nicolet and this region to have a voice and representation on the WIEA board. I see that WIEA is not only a strong supporter of our schools and students but our Native educators as well.”
Susan lives in Minocqua, WI, with her husband and is active in the American Indian community across the state and beyond.
WIEA Region: East
Tribal Affiliation: Menominee
Organization: Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin
Title: Tribal Education Director
Posoh! My name is Shannon Chapman and I am the new Menominee Tribal Education Director. I replaced Virginia Nuske who retired in June 2016 after 41 years of service.
I began my educational career at Menominee Tribal School in August 1996, serving until June 2016 in the following capacities: Student Teacher, Title I Tutor, Coach, Club Advisor, 3rd/4th/5th grade teacher, Assistant Principal, and eventually Principal/Administrator; with a 3-year term as board member on the Menominee Indian School District.
I am very excited as I begin this new endeavor in the Tribal Education Department, working in conjunction with the Wisconsin Indian Education Association. My professional objective is to utilize my education and experience to improve educational opportunities for American Indian youth.
WIEA provides the professional network, resources, and advocacy for Indian education that are needed, as all tribes represented are working toward the same goal of creating stronger, healthier native communities.
Tribal Affiliation: Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe
Term expires: 2018
Title: Ojibwe Language/Culture Instructor
Lac du Flambeau Tribal Language/Culture Department